Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

Please note: the below information is currently for our Spring 2019 new students. 

Information for the fall 2019 semester will be posted soon. Fall 2019 new students may schedule an appointment with their academic advisor beginning April 9 and may register for classes for fall beginning April 17.  

  1. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  2. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  3. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  4. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  5. (Optional) Review registration FAQs.
  6. (Optional) Schedule an advising appointment

Spring 2019 Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for newly admitted graduate students for spring 2019 on Thursday, January 10. More information will be sent to students later this fall.

Any questions regarding orientation should be sent to sisgradorientation@american.edu.

Spring 2019 Students

As you wait for spring classes to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than 3 classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

First-semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-672: Frameworks of Comparative and Regional Studies (only offered in the fall semester)
  2. SIS-673: Comparative Political Economy (only offered in the fall semester)
  3. One of the following:
    1. One regional concentration course (for a list of approved regional courses, please see your CRS Program Blackboard course*)
    2. SIS-600 Int’l Affairs Statistics & Methods

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). DM students who begin in the fall semester are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. Two of the following:
    1. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    2. An economics course (see below)
    3. SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    4. A concentration course
    5. A course in administration or management from Social Enterprise, business or public administration

There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603: Intro to Economic Theory*, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

*ECON-603 is waived for DM students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take SIS-731 Economic Development. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Human Rights program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733 International Peace & Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Either SIS-622 Human Rights or PHIL-693 Global Ethics
  3. One of the following:
    1. A “choose-one” course in Philosophy, see the EPHR advising worksheet for a list of approved courses
    2. An approved methodology course (Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses)
    3. A course in your concentration if you have a clear focus for your concentration. We recommend that you discuss registration decisions regarding your concentration with your academic advisor. Students will be asked to declare their concentration at the end of their second semester of enrollment.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPHR.

Students in Global Environmental Policy are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester. Full-time students are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-660 Environment & Politics. Students entering in the fall semester must take SIS-660 in their first semester.
  2. Two of the following:
    1. GEP “Choose ONE” course from the list shown on the GEP advising worksheet. Note: not all Choose ONE courses are offered every semester; some are fall or spring only. The approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for fall 2019 are: SIS-620 Global Climate Change, SIS-620 Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture and SIS-620 Water Governance.
    2. An economics course. GEP students are required to take ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory and SIS-652 Intro to Environmental Economics. Students must complete ECON-603 or pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam prior to taking SIS-652. Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam may substitute a higher-level economics course in place of ECON-603. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
    3. An approved methodology course. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses. Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods as one of their methodology courses.
    4. A concentration course

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-707: History of Global Politics
  2. Either SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course*.
    *When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  3. An approved course in your chosen concentration:
    Approved Global Security and Global Governance courses can be found on the GGPS Blackboard site. You should have already been enrolled in a course called “Global Governance, Politics, and Security Program.” Under “Concentration Courses” you will find the lists of approved courses

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GGPS program.

International Affairs Policy & Analysis (IAPA)

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-640 International Communication
  2. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    2. An economics course. Students may choose either ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory or SIS-616: International Economics. IC students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite to register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
    3. A gateway or concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a gateway or concentration course, please consult with your academic advisor.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IC.

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and capstone requirements after completing the core. First semester students are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-600 Int’l Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    2. An economics course (see below)
    3. A course for the area of concentration or elective

There are two required economics courses for ID students:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory*, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

* ECON-603 is waived for ID students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics (IE) program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-605: Introduction to Mathematical Economics (Students must have previously taken calculus)
  2. SIS-616 International Economics or a research methods course*
    *Students who have not previously taken International Economics should take SIS-616: International Economics. (This course will be applied toward the 6 credits of elective required for the degree.) SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Students who have already taken International Economics should discuss their background with the IE program director. Students with sufficient backgrounds in International Economics should take a research methods course (Please see the IE program worksheet for a list of approved research methods courses).
  3. SIS-751: International Political Economy
    Please review the Schedule of Classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IE program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations program are encouraged to take:

  1. An economics course.
    When selecting an economics course, please note that all IER students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. To enroll in SIS-616, students must demonstrate prior experience with micro-and macroeconomics, either through passing the SIS Economics Placement Exam or completing ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. Students taking SIS-616 during the fall semester are encouraged to take SIS-751: International Political Economy. Students who take ECON-603 during their first semester should take one of the “Choose Two” IER-related courses. Please find the approved “Choose Two” courses for the spring semester on the IER EdSpace website.
  3. One research and professional methods course. Students with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623: Applied Econometrics I (Please note, SIS students must have permission from the IER program director before they will be allowed to enroll). Please see the IER program worksheet for a list of approved research and professional methods courses.

Please review the schedule of classes for course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations Certificate program are encouraged to take one or more of the following:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory. IER Certificate students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam are allowed to waive ECON-603 and register for SIS-616: International Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One SIS elective course.

**Note: SIS-665: International Trade Relations is only offered during the fall semester and SIS-666: International Financial Relations is only offered during the spring semester. Both courses have a prerequisite of SIS-616.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER Certificate program.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Two of the following:
    1. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    2. An economics course. Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics (Please note that students must pass the SIS economics placement exam in order to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616: International Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam).
    3. A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest (Please note that the Gateway courses for the concentrations in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation & Justice are not offered in the fall semester).
      • Culture, Identity & Peace: SIS-606 Culture, Peace and Conflict Resolution: Alternatives to Violence
      • International Negotiation: SIS-611 International Negotiation
    4. If you are certain of your core concentration focus, a course from the approved list associated with your chosen core concentration, which may be found on the back of the IPCR Advising Worksheet.

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the fall semester are strongly recommended to take:

  1. SISG-775 Executive Leadership* (only offered in fall or summer): IR Online course with on-campus immersion Thursday, August 22 – Sunday, August 25

In addition, they may register for one or two of the following:

2. An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet)

OR

A Professional Research Methodology course (Approved course list is available on the SIS Graduate Advising website.)

3. A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet.)

*Information regarding the Fall 2019 Executive Leadership course will follow. 

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course, if required (see admissions letter for more information) or an economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. Two - three concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)
    Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration, followed by a 3-credit capstone in their second semester.

Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

Students in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development program take three required courses in the fall semester:

  1. SIS-660 Environment and Politics
  2. One of the following economics courses:
    1. ECON-603: Intro to Economic Theory (for students without a background in micro- and macroeconomics)
    2. SIS-652 Environmental Economics (Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam in order to register for SIS-652 Environmental Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam)
  3. One of the following courses:
    1. SIS-620 Global Climate Change
    2. SIS-620 Political Ecology of Food & Agriculture
    3. SIS-620 Water Governance
    4. SIS-649 Environment and Development

NRSD students are also required to take a non-credit Spanish class, which will meet on Wednesday mornings from 9:00am -12:00pm. You will not officially register for this course, but for this reason, you should also not register for any other course that meets on Wednesday mornings.

Marley Crutcher is the academic advisor for NRSD.

The Master of Arts in Social Enterprise (SE) is a “cohort” program, meaning that students sequence through the required core courses together as each group of new students enters in the fall semester. Students entering SE in Fall 2019 should take:

  1. SIS-619 Global Social Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
  2. SIS-730 Ethics for International Service (1 credit)
  3. One of the following:
    1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory (SE students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam are allowed to waive ECON-603* and register for an approved** upper level economics course).
    2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods 
  4. A concentration or elective course (2-3 credits), planned in consultation with the Program Director.

*If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

**A list of approved upper level economics courses is available on the SE advising worksheet.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for SE.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making
  2. SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes
  3. One of the following:
    1. USFP “Choose Two” course (The approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for fall 2019 are: SIS-681 Intelligence and Foreign Policy; SIS-653 Grand Strategy; SIS-653 Public Diplomacy; SIS-653 US National Security Strategy; SIS-653 Technology and National Security and/or one of the following approved courses on USFP toward a region: SIS-653 Transatlantic Security; SIS-653 USFP Toward the Middle East; SIS-653 US & Russia Since 1991)
    2. History course (SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP or HIST-661 U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1918)
    3. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    4. A concentration course (if you have a clear focus for your concentration)
    5. An economics course*(see below)

*When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616: International Economics, with a pre-requisite of ECON-603. Students without a background in micro- and macro-economics are required to take ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for USFP students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam and the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39 credits. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.